A young plasterer has secured a five-month paid placement with growing landlord, Karbon Homes thanks to funding secured from a local contractor.

Thomas King, 21 who has a City & Guilds Level 1 Diploma in plastering, volunteered to complete a six-week work placement. The role gave him first-hand experience of working with one of the largest housing associations in the North East, which owns and manages around 24,000 homes.

Thomas, who lives in Stanley, used his time to learn his trade after shadowing experienced colleagues by working in residents’ homes to carry out general repairs and maintenance.

As his six-week placement was coming to an end, he started preparing to look for another job but thankfully, one of Karbon’s contractors, Charleton Fencing stepped in to provide some funding as part of its Unlocking Social Value Project. The initiative encouragers Karbon’s contractors to contribute time, money and expertise to local community projects where they are working.

Thomas impressed colleagues so much, he was invited back by the organisation on a 24-week paid placement where he will carry out general repairs and maintenance duties including plastering, tiling and bricklaying.

He said: “I’m really grateful to Karbon Homes and Charleton Fencing for giving me this opportunity. It’s good experience to be able to work in residents’ homes and apply the different trades I have learnt. I am hoping to learn as much as I can over the next few months and acquire the skills I need to pursue my career in plastering.”

Michelle Graham, Employment Initiatives Officer at Karbon Homes, said: “Our aim is to provide employment opportunities for local people and we are very grateful to Charleton Fencing for providing the funding to be able to offer Thomas a 24-week paid placement.

“Our Unlocking Social Value Project benefits local people and the communities we serve and is proving to be a real success with some positive outcomes. After completing his qualifications and volunteering to gain more experience, Thomas needed a break that will strengthen his skills and experience in the trade he specialises in and hopefully it will prepare him for securing full time employment. The placement is also giving him experience of communicating with and working in residents homes and I hope he learns a lot from his experience with us.”

Chester-le-Street based fencing contractor, Charleton Fencing is responsible for carrying out fencing works around Stanley and the Derwentside area on behalf of Karbon Homes. Jimmy Charleton, Managing Director of Charleton Fencing, said: “It is a pleasure to fund Thomas in his placement with Karbon Homes.

“Thomas was a delight to meet, very well-mannered and showing a willingness to work. We believe Thomas will do well in his future career and I wish him all the best.

Charleton Fencing are pleased to help any young person in their career.”